Conversation on Indoor Horticulture with Blake Lange of Philips Lighting

Apr 10, 2015 Comments Off on Conversation on Indoor Horticulture with Blake Lange of Philips Lighting by

Our resident SSL expert ‘Dennis McCarthy’ speaks with Blake Lange of Philips Lighting about –
Grow lights, city farming and vertical farms

Who has an interest in indoor horticulture and best practices regarding
the various facets of indoor agri- business. I know my colleague Blake Lange does!
He is involved with the Philips Lighting’s Horticultural LED Solutions team as they look to optimize
the segment. His formal designation is as Business Development Manager for City
Farming – Philips Lighting. He is both an esteemed colleague & an industry friend.

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The enthusiasm and acumen Mr. Lange exhibits are a good example of
the lighting subsets’ dynamic appeal & promise – There are plenty of folks
working worldwide on this important trend. The topic goes beyond just
sustenance for people, it centers on optimization of this modernistic, sensible
approach. I think that Blakes’ position in the lighting ecosystem makes him an apt
spokesperson for questions on this portion of the contemporary lighting scene.

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Let’s get to the queries
DM – Blake which metric would you characterize as being the most meaningful
to end users of grow lights
Blake: I would consider micro mols/joule as one of the most important measures used.

DM- I asked about these trendy new SSL grow lights, some of which are reliant on
a fan for active cooling as a part of their thermal management – I posed the
question of are you in favor of active cooling?

Blake: Am I in favor of them? I have not seen any viable designs in the market
place, so I am not currently in favor of them. Blake then added he would be
interested in looking at designs of the wares that are out there. I guess that
qualifies as keeping an open mind on the approach.

DM: Blake do you think that the vertical farming will be embraced as the way to
go in the 2020 era or do you think that it will be more like the second half of this current decade?

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Blake: I think that VF is being embraced now –although not necessarily cheaper
right now, there is compelling evidence that the scheme of using the best lighting
products, and all other salient factors done inside facilities will keep gaining popularity .
As it is already in place and part of contemporary agriculture – I’d say soon-
we won’t have to wait for the 2020 era.

DM – Do you see room for improvement in the messaging involved in
City Farming – Urban horticulture?
Blake -While the Philips Horticulture team does a good job of articulating their own product’s strengths’ many would be buyers do not know of the positives of it, as a product class and still more are just skeptical …

DM- the last question for now does your position have you travelling to
many of the trade shows that focus in on grow lights and lighting system-could you share with us which shows you choose to attend?

Blakes responses – On the event attendance – there are many to attend, I get to
several including the Indoor Ag conference, Cultivate and Light Fair International.
Others he attends The International Floriculture Expo and the Canadian Greenhouse
conference and he was at the LED Specifiers Summit in Chicago in 2014.

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I inquired about whether he thought that the SSL grow light segment was doing a good job in articulating the value proposition and merit of the segments wares-
No was his answer, there is confusion in the market place and the lack of education
on the products was inadequate – It’s a challenge that includes a need for greater education for end users and essentially there is room for improvement on multiple fronts- I noted I know he and his colleagues are doing their best to amend that situation.

The Grow light section of the lighting industry is going through a fair amount of
churning and tumult … I’m glad the segment has a plethora of dedicated pros
like Blake and his colleagues at Philips improving the arena.

So the summary – There are many grow light industry challenges-
Some of the most capable minds on the planet are refining the
wares and approaches in urban horticultural endeavors. The work they
do is some of the most meaningful work done in the solid state lighting realm
these days!

Original article submission from SSL Guru:
Dennis McCarthy
UBM -SSL industry writer

Opinion

About the author

15 years horticulture experience to draw from
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